David Haye has been forced out of the rematch with Tony Bellew after injuring his bicep in freak accident.
Haye and Bellew were set to renew hostilities again at The O2 in London on December 17 following their rollercoaster first meeting in March won by Bellew, but the two teams will now work towards a new date for the rematch early in 2018, with news on that to come this week.
“I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24 or May 5, subject to scheduling,” said Haye. “Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, currently weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn’t wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye Bellew saga.
“Unfortunately, after a freak accident during a stair conditioning session, which I’ve done with no incident hundreds of times, I lost my footing, slipped, so instinctively grabbed the bannister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell, in doing so I somehow managed to damage my bicep in the process. This afternoon I underwent a procedure to repair it, this was pretty straightforward and my doctor and physiotherapist have no doubt that not only will I make a full recovery but will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks.
“I would like to apologise to Tony, his family and his training team, as well as all our fans who have been left disappointed. I’ve been solely focussed on this fight and it’s extremely frustrating that I couldn’t finish 2017 with just my ring performance doing the talking. I look forward to getting back to training and into the ring in early 2018 with excitement and determination.”
“I'm gutted that the rematch with David has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans,” said Bellew. “I've had a tough camp with a lot going on in my life but was ready to repeat my win from March.
“I'll get over this disappointment over Christmas with my family and will be straight back into camp for a new date, it's a big disappointment but as always I leave my career in the hands of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who will get me back in there ASAP.”
All original tickets will be valid for the future date. Fans should visit their point of purchase should they require a refund.
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
Carl Frampton's highly-anticipated return to the squared circle did not go exactly according to plan, with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Mexico’s Horacio Garcia in front of an adoring hometown crowd at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
After a turbulent 2017, which saw the Northern Irishman suffering his first professional career loss to Leo Santa Cruz - in addition to splitting with long-time trainer Shane McGuigan and undergoing a promotional shake-up – Frampton was able to close out a difficult year on a somewhat positive note, securing victory with slightly generous tallies of 98-93, 97-93 and 96-93 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Throughout the early rounds, the former super-bantamweight and featherweight titlist was seemingly content to play the cool matador to Garcia’s rampaging bull, picking his opponent off with cute counters complemented by evasive footwork. However, as the fight progressed into the middle rounds, Frampton became increasingly tired in the face of Garcia’s obdurate surges forward, who was at that point growing in confidence and connecting with more frequency.
The former two-weight world champion then abandoned his previous counterpunching-oriented strategy, and elected to become embroiled in an entertaining slugfest with his opposite number from Guadalajara – with domestic rivals Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg, as well as Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, seated ringside.
As the thrilling exchanges between the two prompted deafening roars from the Belfast crowd, the consternation pervading the arena was tangible during the seventh round after a slip from an apparently off-balance Frampton was incorrectly deemed a knockdown by referee Victor Laughlin.
Nevertheless, Frampton regained his composure and was ultimately able to see off the characteristically tough Garcia in what was, all things considered, a relatively nip-and-tuck affair.
Meanwhile, super-flyweight Jamie Conlan’s first crack at a world title was unsuccessful as IBF titleholder Jerwin Ancajas simply proved to be too much on the night for the previously undefeated challenger.
A resilient, albeit overmatched Conlan was repeatedly knocked down and pummelled with debilitating shots to the midsection, until referee Steve Gray called a halt to proceedings in the sixth.
There was additional success for Irish fighters on the card, however, as undefeated prospect and former Olympian Paddy Barnes moved to 5-0 after delivering an exquisite body shot to Nicaraguan Elicier Quezada in the sixth-round, claiming both the WBO intercontinental flyweight title and his first stoppage win in the process.
WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete also wowed ringside spectators with a jaw-dropping thunderous one-punch knockout over compatriot Siboniso Gonya in the very first round.
In taking just eleven seconds to dispose of his opponent, the heavy-handed South African reportedly set a new record, and will now undoubtedly be coveting unification fights with the likes of Ryan Burnett and Luis Nery, in order to stake his claim as the best 118-lber in the world.
Report by: Navi Singh
You can follow Navi on Twitter at: @hombre__obscuro
In just over three weeks’ time, boxing fans will be treated to a historic match-up. On December 9th in Madison Square Garden, New York, Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko will defend his WBO Super Featherweight title against Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux; the first time in boxing history that two double Olympic gold medallists have faced each other in the professional ranks.
The statistics attached to the impending matchup are impressive. Between them in the amateur ranks, the two pugilists went a mind-boggling 871 wins combined to only 13 losses. As professionals, they are multiple world title holders who share a combined record of 26 wins, 18 by way of knockout, with just a single loss.
In view of the historical nature of the match-up and such figures, one would expect it to be one of the most heavily-hyped fights of the year. From Rigondeaux’s perspective: it has been anything but.
Within the last 24 hours, Rigondeaux has taken to social media to express his dissatisfaction with what he perceives to be the under-promotion of the fight. Reading between the lines, it is a clear shot being fired at Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, the current promoters of Lomachenko and formerly of Rigondeaux, with whom he parted in 2014 in less than amicable circumstances. For Rigondeaux, the turning point was his decisive 2013 victory over the then-WBO Super Bantamweight Champion and '2012 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year', Nonito Donaire, who he schooled in a fight which was far more one-sided than the scorecards suggested. Rigondeaux claims that Arum and Top Rank never forgave him for extinguishing the lights of one of the brightest stars in their stable. For Arum and Top Rank’s part, Rigondeaux’s defensive style of fighting made him a far more difficult sell to boxing audience, especially in comparison to the all-action style of the defeated 'The Filipino Flash'.
Carl Frampton returns to the ring at Belfast’s SSE Arena this Saturday, in what will be his debut under the guidance of new promoter Frank Warren and new trainer Jamie Moore. 'The Jackal' will be eager to close the book on a tumultuous period which saw him lose his WBA featherweight world title and have his homecoming bout cancelled at the eleventh hour, before going on to split from trainer Shane McGuigan and depart Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone promotions: all in the space of seven months.
With both camps remaining tight-lipped regarding the fall-out, little is known as to what triggered the Belfast fighters shock August split from the McGuigans. The news came on the heels of weeks of speculation surrounding Frampton’s future with the promotional outfit, triggered by the fighter's resignation from Cyclone’s board of directors on the 21st of July.
The Belfast hero will be seeking to return to winning ways in his home city this weekend, having dropping a twelve round decision to Mexican three-weight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in their Las Vegas rematch in January of this year. The disappointing reverse remains his last trip to the ring.
In what will be his first non-title contest since April 2014, Frampton will look to unleash ten months of frustration upon featherweight contender Horacio Garcia, who faces the unenviable task of occupying the away corner in-front of a partisan crowd this Saturday. The Mexican enters the contest as a heavy underdog, with his thirty-seven fight record devoid of notable names barring 2012 US Olympian Joseph Diaz, to whom he succumbed to a lop-sided decision victory in December of last year. “Violento”, however, will be looking to seize the opportunity to enter the upper echelons of the 126 pound weight class with a shock-win over one of the division's elite, forcing himself into title contention for 2018.
In Frampton, Garcia will face a fighter who has appeared reinvigorated of late, having rediscovered his love of the sport in working with new trainer Jamie Moore. The former two-weight king joined Moore at his Manchester training base, initially on a trial basis, after his aforementioned split with Shane McGuigan earlier this year. Following a successful inauguration, the Northern Irishman decided he need look no further, and subsequently announced that he would resume his career with the former European 154 pound champ in his corner. In just two short months, fighter and trainer appear to have struck up an almost-instantaneous chemistry, with Frampton making all of the right noises as he bids to make a successful return to the ring.
After piecing together the final parts of his new team in the ensuing weeks - with announcements that he had signed with boxing management outfit MTK as well as Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren - Frampton returns to the sport with a renewed sense of vigour, and will be hoping to recapture the form that made him 'Ring Magazine 2016 Fighter of the Year'.
The move to the Warren stable opens up the possibility of future domestic clashes with both Josh Warrington and IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby, with the latter scheduled to fight on the veteran promoter's December 9th card at the Copper Box Arena in London.
With a plethora of potential big fights on the horizon - both at home and across the Atlantic - the twenty-nine-year-old will look to put a stacked Featherweight division on notice with an emphatic victory over Horatio Garcia in front of his adoring public this weekend.
Garcia will be joined at ringside by fellow Guadalajara native Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who will be hoping to see his Golden Boy stable-mate spring an upset victory. Most however, believe that Garcia would require the Mexican superstar to join him in the ring if he is to have a realistic chance of upsetting the local hero.
After proclaiming 2017 to be "the worst year of my career", Frampton has afforded himself every opportunity to ensure 2018 is, in fact, the exact opposite. While one would imagine sterner - and more lucrative - bouts are on the horizon, Frampton will undoubtedly have his eye fixed firmly on Horacio Garcia this weekend. With an adoring fanbase tuning in on an action-packed evening for Belfast boxing, Frampton will be keen to remind observers of the sport as to who the city's top dog is.
'The Day of The Jackal' is Saturday evening, live on BT Sport and BoxNation...
Article by: Gareth Gonet
You can follow Gareth on Twitter at: @garethgonet
Emerging Super Bantamweight prospect Lucien Reid (7-0-0 4 KO's) has said he will challenge for titles at the beginning of 2018, after a ‘slow start’ since turning over in the professional ranks two years ago.
Reid - nicknamed ‘Lethal’ - established himself as a talented amateur, claiming a Senior ABA Elite 54kg title in 2013 and was a finalist at 56kgs the following year. Thus far as a pro, however, for reasons unknown to him, the East Londoner has struggled to gain momentum.
Following nearly one year of inactivity, Reid resumed his career when he returned to the ring to victorious against Michael Mooney in May, before beating Jose Aguilar in September on the undercard of former-stablemate Billy Joe Saunders' WBO World Middleweight title defence against Willie Monroe Jr.
The 23 year-old looks to continue the reinvigoration process of his career on December 16th at the Brentwood Centre, where he will attempt to improve his record to 8-0 and put on another exciting show for the fans.
"I’ve got no opponent just yet, but I’ll be looking for a more game opponent and I’ll be boxing for titles early next year.” said Reid, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves .
"I know I’m boxing for titles early next year. I’ve spoken to Adam [Booth] and he said when I had come off that long eleven month lay-off it wasn’t the right time to be going into hard fights. He wanted me to get more rounds underneath my belt and learn the trade more as we hadn’t been together that long."
Reid, who parted ways with his former trainer Peter Sims last November, is now - as mentioned previously - under the tutelage of esteemed and highly-respected coach Adam Booth, who he says says is having a massive influence in his corner.
”We’re starting to really bond and I’m really starting to take to the style." he stated.
"He [Booth] wanted me to get more rounds, and December 16th we want a game opponent who is actually going to give me them: then when I fight for titles, I’ll know where my fitness is at over ten to 12 rounds."
Throughout the years, boxing has seen many of its best known participants refuse to acknowledge their decline, instead stubbornly opting to remain in the sport well beyond their sell by date: more often ending in disaster than in glory.
Those in the boxing who reside outside of the ropes however, can enjoy a more substantial lifespan than the sports combatants. One such example is British Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, who after almost forty years in the fight game is enjoying something of a career renaissance; in no small part due to the signing of his exclusive rights deal with broadcasting giant BT sport in November of last year.
Throughout a stellar promotional career, the Londoner has been a leading player in the UK boxing market, having been responsible for promoting some of the sport’s most illustrious names including Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Prince Naseem Hamed.
Warren would see his high standing in the UK market go largely unchallenged throughout the noughties, with main promotional rival Barry Hearn opting to scale down his involvement in boxing in order to focus on other sporting ventures.
In 2011, the veteran promoters decision to leave Sky Sports for his own fledgling network BoxNation - coupled with the emergence of promotional upstart Eddie Hearn (son of the aforementioned Barry Hearn) - would bring an abrupt end to the dominance which Warren had enjoyed over the previous decade. The younger Hearn’s meteoric rise within the sport would see an exodus of top names from the Warren stable, including future world champions George Groves, Tony Bellew and James DeGale, all seemingly enticed by the effervescent Hearn’s bold plans for U.K. boxing.
Without the financial backing of a major broadcaster, the next five years would see Warren struggle to deliver major fights for his top fighters, who were failing to garner wider exposure: owing largely to the fact they were plying their trade exclusively on a subscription boxing channel, well beyond the view of the wider sporting public.
Throughout this period, Warren would lose out to Matchroom in the signing of several much sought after prospects, including 2012 Olympic gold medallists Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell. Warren would also watch from afar as his bitter-rival Hearn accomplished a landmark promotional feat, in selling out Wembley Stadium for the Froch vs Groves rematch in 2014.
Evidently dismayed at losing his position atop the British boxing industry, the Queensberry boss would continually levy public criticism upon his younger rival at every opportunity. The subsequent discourse between the pair would result in a promotional cold war, akin to that seen across the Atlantic between Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank supremo Bob Arum. The prospect of major inter-stable fights would resultantly enter the realms of fantasy, where it remains to this day.
In recent days, former lineal heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, released a video on social media of his pad workout at the Hatton Gym, as he continues to talk up a boxing comeback in the near future. Fury, of course, has not been seen in the ring since November 2015 when he sensationally dethroned Wladimir Klitschko on a famous night in Düsseldorf, Germany: rendered inactive by a combination of anti-doping and mental health issues.
In that time, we have been subjected to a painfully predictable and, quite frankly, tiresome trend of Fury vacillating between announcing his permanent retirement from the sport and, alternatively, vowing a comeback to rival Muhammad Ali.
Let me make things clear from the outset: mental illness is a terrible affliction which I would not wish upon anyone.
In this respect, Fury deserves our full sympathy and well wishes. The racism which he has been subjected to by members of the public on account of his Irish Traveller heritage is despicable and must be condemned unequivocally. Moreover, as a boxing purist, I regard him as a talented and heavily underrated exponent of the sweet science. In fact, I would favour a mentally focussed and in-shape Fury to outpoint current WBA 'Super' and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, should the two ever meet in what would be a blockbuster domestic clash. It would, however, seem that we are still a long way away from both presumptions.
Unbeaten Irish star John Joe Nevin can’t wait to return to the ring on Friday 24th November and kick-start his career as aims to make 2018 his year.
The 2012 Olympic Silver medallist has his first fight in Britain as a professional at the Tolworth Recreation Centre on the undercard of female World Champion Pink Tyson, alongside Lenny Daws, hot prospect Yusuf Safa and many more.
Nevin is heralded as one of the most decorated amateur boxers ever with an illustrious record that reads: Double Olympian, 2012 Olympic Silver, 2 World Bronze, European and European Union Champion, 15 times All Ireland Champion; a staggering 255 amateur contests - of which 210 were Internationals - with just 15 losses.
The Mullingar ace has had various problems from physical, personal and promotional issues since turning professional, but the 29-year-old has put together a solid eight-fight unbeaten record that has seen him campaign in American and Ireland.
His last fight was on 26th August 2016 at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia when he defeated Jesus Lule, winning every round in the six-round contest. He was scheduled to fight in September this year, but medical licensing and opponent issues meant that that it had to be postponed.
However, Nevin is now thrilled to return to London where he celebrated the pinnacle of his amateur career by winning Olympic Silver alongside a standout Irish team that included Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor and Paddy Barnes.
“It’s fantastic to return to London where I’ve had so many amateur fights and great memories, but of course the highlight was lifting silver for myself and the Irish team, that is something I will never ever forget,” Said Nevin.
“The Irish team was packed with so many talented fighters like Michael, Katie and Paddy and they’re all doing amazing in the pros. I’ve had my troubles, but through all of that I’m proud to hold an undefeated record and there is so much ahead of me now,”
“I feel that in a way, the rest has made me stronger and maybe that is for the best. Remember, I had 255 amateur fights with almost all of those at a high level over 20 years and I’ve had no real breaks, so now I feel strong again and I just can’t wait,”
Nevin will step up to super-lightweight and take on Killamarsh’s Lee Connelly over six-rounds at the Tolworth Recreations Centre and then look for some big fights next year."
He added, “I wanted a heavier opponent and to get some more rounds in and I didn’t want someone who was going to tumble over so boxing at super-lightweight is where I see myself being most effective from now on,”
“I’m in the gym every day with my trainer Jim McDonnell, he’s a tremendous coach and along with his sons they form a top team and now it is up to me to become a champion,”
“For now I’m focusing on the 24th November and then looking at a big 2018 when I know some exciting opportunities are going to come my way. Long term the aim is to become a world champion and I believe I can do that.”
Female World Champion Pink Tyson, real name Kallia Kourouni, from Sparta, Greece, headlines the show, promoted by Hennessy Sports in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.
Morden’s favourite fighting son, “Lightning” Lenny Daws makes his long awaited return to the ring. Daws looks to return to winning ways as he targets a third shot at the European Super-Lightweight crown and win it for a third time following his close attempt in February this year against Anthony Yigit.
Undefeated Bexleyheath Super-Featherweight prospect Yusuf Safa returns to action following his win on the Hughie Fury-Joseph Parker undercard and aims to target his first professional title shortly.
Two-time Olympian John Joe Nevin from Mullingar, Ireland, has his first in Britain as the supremely talented 28-year-old continues to build on his unbeaten record.
Heading up an exciting undercard will be: Iver Heavyweight Naylor Ball; Mitcham Super-lightweight Cheznie Hawkins; Farnborough’s George Lamport, Camberley Lightweight Jonny Phillips; Chertsey Lightweight Tony Vincent makes his highly-anticipated professional debut and Mitcham Super-lightweightZahayr Al Quahtani.
Doors open at 5:30pm with boxing commencing at 6pm.
Source: Hennessy Sports [Press Release]
Top Rank on ESPN will kick off its 2018 season with a sensational Super Bowl weekend world championship event. GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMÍREZ , Mexico's super middleweight champion with the matinee idol looks, defending his world title. Ramírez (36-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, will make his third defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight title against Top-Five world-rated contender HABIB "Wild Hurricane" AHMED (22-0, 17 KOs) from Accra, Ghana. The fight will take place on Saturday, February 3,at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, and will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.
Ramírez and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum will announce the fight at a press conference on Thursday, November 16,at 11 a.m. CST, in the Henry Garrett Ballroom C, located inside the American Bank Center(1901 North Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christie, TX 78401).
Promoted by Top Rank ®, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, ticketsto the Ramírez-Ahmed world championship event will go on sale This Thursday, November 16,at 10 a.m. CST-- the perfect fistivus holiday gift for your favorite boxing fan! Priced at $152, $102, $62, $42, and $27, including facility fees, tickets may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com , at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
"Gilberto Ramirez has proven that he is the best of the super middleweights All you have to do is look at his world championship victories against Arthur Abraham and Jesse Hart," said Arum. "Gilberto has quickly become the face of boxing on both sides of the border.
“Habib Ahmed is an undefeated fighter with a good knockout record. He is fighting outside of his home country for the first time and that makes him a very dangerous fighter,’ said Ramírez. “He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him. I’m going to train even harder than for my last title defense. I think this will be a very good fight. My world title and our undefeated records will be on the line. I’m very motivated and focused on defending and retaining my title for the third time against a good opponent. I want to show the world why I’m the champion in the super middleweight division.”
“I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez,” said Ahmed. “I am coming to America to take your title. I am going for the knockout. All of Ghana and all of my fans are going to be so proud, so happy. This is the opportunity I always wanted. I am taking Ramirez’s title with me to my homeland.”
Ramírez, a two-fisted super middleweight wrecking machine, made history in the co-main event to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley welterweight pay-per-view on April 9, 2016, when he became México's first fighter to win a super middleweight world title. Entering the fight as the top world-rated contender, Ramirez gave a virtuoso performance over the defending WBO champion Arthur Abraham, a-three-time world champion in his own right.. All three judges scored it as a 120-108 blitzkrieg. "I took him to Méxican boxing school," a jubilant Ramírez boasted as he put on the world championship belt . A sensational young champion, Ramírez had been scheduled to make his first title defense in July 2016, but a training camp injury to his right hand followed by surgery and rest sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He returned to the ring on April 22, winning a unanimous decision over Top-10 contender and one-time world title challenger Max "Tiger" Bursak and followed that up with another impressive unanimous decision victory, this time over undefeated No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Jesse "Hard Work" Hart on September 22.
A former Ghanaian super middleweight champion, Ahmed has won eight of his last nine fights by knockout, including the six-bout victory-by-knockout streak he is currently enjoying. In his most recent fight, on March 17, Ahmed stopped Philip Kotey in the 11th round to capture the vacant WBO Africa super middleweight title. This will not only be Ahmed's U.S. debut, it will be his first professional fight outside his native Ghana.
For more information visit: www.toprank.com , www.espn.com/boxing ; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing , facebook.com/trboxeo , facebook.com/espndeportes ; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing , twitter.com/trboxeo , @ESPN @ESPNBoxeo
Source: Top Rank [Press Release]
Katie Taylor will defend her WBA World Lightweight title against Jessica McCaskill at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Wednesday December 13, live on Sky Sports.
Taylor landed the crown in at Principality Stadium in Cardiff to add her first major pro strap to a glittering amateur career.
The Bray star puts that title on the line for the first time in the famous east London venue against Chicago’s McCaskill. The 33 year old boxes outside of the States for the first time in her career – and Taylor wants to silence ‘CasKILLA’ who has been calling the champion out.
“If she's as relentless in the ring as she is on social media it should be a great fight!” said Taylor. “I'm more than happy to give her the opportunity and I certainly won't be avoiding anyone as a champion.
“I truly believe that this is only the start of things for me. I want all the belts and the biggest possible fights over the next few years.
“It’s been a great first year for me as a professional and this really sets me up for a great finish to it. Headlining on Sky Sports is another first for the sport and I’m so grateful to Eddie Hearn and Sky for the opportunity.
“Trash talking’s not really my thing but she seems to be happy to talk enough for the both of us anyway! Maybe it’s something she feels she has to do for her own confidence but none of that stuff matters once the first bell rings. I'm happy to let my boxing do the talking then and that's definitely where I express myself best.”
“I have a lot of respect for this sport and for Katie Taylor, but I will be bringing that belt and respect back with me,” said McCaskill. “I want to be known as the number one in America and of course the World title is definitely the goal.”
A stacked undercard of talent Brits are set to support Taylor’s defence with unbeaten Super-Featherweight talent Martin J. Ward can add another title to his impressive collection as he faces former champion Juli Giner for the vacant European title.
Light-Heavyweights Jake Ball and Miles Shinkwin to meet in a tasty contest, Birmingham’s unbeaten Super-Bantamweight talent Gamal Yafai, future Cruiserweight rivals Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain look to further stoke the fire for a 2018 clash, Team GB Rio Olympian Joe Cordina in action for the sixth time in the paid ranks and more Matchroom Boxing stars to be added.
Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]
Former multiple-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya has sensationally claimed it would take him a mere “two rounds” to dispose of professional UFC fighter Conor McGregor inside a boxing ring, courtesy of a newfound Spartan training regimen.
“I’ve been secretly training. I’m faster than ever, stronger than ever.” said De La Hoya on Golden Boy's new radio show Tattoo and the Crew.
“I know I could take out Conor McGregor inside two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight,” said the 'Golden Boy Promotions' supremo, who two years ago also expressed his willingness to make an audacious ring return against Kazakhstani middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin.
Conor McGregor is one of the most accomplished punchers currently operating in the UFC, primarily renowned for the devastating power and surgical accuracy of his strikes. Nevertheless, despite his obvious fistic proficiency and success in tempting Floyd Mayweather out of a two-year retirement this August, the Irishman’s venture into professional boxing was ultimately proved unsuccessful, after he was pummelled into submission by ‘Money’ inside ten rounds of their superfight spectacle in Las Vegas. The bout was billed as the biggest fight in combat sports history, despite its many detractors - including De La Hoya himself - pouring scorn on the contest.
In addition to claiming an unprecedented feat as the first ever UFC champion to reign simultaneously in two weight-divisions, the effervescent Dubliner is arguably the biggest pay-per-view attraction in mixed martial-arts history. Due to his explosive knockout performances inside the octagon, coupled with his entertaining trash-talking style outside of it, McGregor has been the key component in the recent boom of boxing’s sister sport, driving pay-per-view sales and bringing the sport from the doldrums and into the forefront of the public eye.
De La Hoya, on the other hand, boasts one of the most highly-publicised careers in boxing history. After representing the United States in capturing gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games, De la Hoya enjoyed an illustrious and fruitful professional career, sharing the ring with a plethora of pugilistic greats including Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whittaker, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bernard Hopkins and, in his final bout in 2008, Manny Pacquiao.
Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14 KO's) defeated Liam Williams (16-2-1, 11 KO's) for a second time last night in Newcastle, this time via majority decision. The cards read 114-114, 116-112, 117-111 with the latter two in favour of the Liverpudlian.
Williams started the sharper of the two, boxing behind a tidy left jab, though a number of the early rounds were difficult to split between the pair.
Round five was the first of the fight where either fighter dominated, with Williams looking like he could take over the contest. Despite the Welshman's success, round six proved to be pivotal for Smith after he was able to establish his jab and force his opponent back.
The second half of the contest followed the pattern of the first, with the rounds being closely contested and difficult to score. Many ringside observers preferred the work of Williams, but an argument could also be made for Smith taking his fair share of rounds, such was the nip-and-tuck nature of proceedings.
Williams came out in the tenth round, seemingly intent on pouring scorn on pre-fight jibes of his limited gas-tank, with renewed vigour, however, Smith responded well and met his opponent in the middle of the ring, landing a hard right hand towards the end of the session. It was a recurring theme throughout the bout, with Smith's ability to finish the rounds in the ascendancy ultimately proving decisive on the judges scorecards.
Upon the announcement of the scores, and his subsequent victory, Smith is now in line for a shot at the same WBO World Super Welterweight title he lost to Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in September 2016.
Josh Leather and Glenn Foot provided the fight of the night without a doubt, as both men went toe to toe for twelve hard fought rounds.
A thunderous right hand from Foot at the start of the second round sent Leather crashing to the canvas, and he did remarkably to recover for the rest of the session.
Both men were happy to stand in the pocket and trade, with Leather seeming to land the more eye catching shots the further the fight went on.
Foot didn't help his cause, with a point taken off him for punching after the break and another one for spitting his gum shield out five times throughout the contest.
The judges scored the contest 114-111, 113-112, 115-115 all in favour of Josh Leather, and he'll have learnt more lessons from this fight than any of his others.
Thomas Patrick Ward retained his super-bantamweight British title with a display of dominance against Sean Davis. Despite being cut over the eye in round five, Davis controlled the majority of the fight and the result never looked in doubt. The British champion is quickly establishing himself as a top level super-bantamweight, and a win last night cemented that.
Nathan Gorman was frustrated for a lot of his fight with Mohammed Soltby, but his class shone through in round five. Trainer Ricky Hatton demanded more from his young charge at the start of the fifth, and Gorman delivered with a number of heavy shots forcing the referee to halt the contest after Soltby had already been given an eight count whilst being held up by the ropes. Gorman picked up the WBC Silver International title in the process, giving him an invaluable world ranking.
In the first televised fight of the night, Jeff Saunders and Steve Lewis fought over ten rounds at super lightweight in a eliminator for the British title. Saunders did just enough to edge the majority of the rounds, winning the contest 98-93, 96-95, 98-93 on the judges scorecards.
Mark Heffron impressed with his seventh round stoppage of Lewis Taylor in undoubtably his toughest fight to date. Taylor hit the canvas from a body shot in round five, but it was a sweetly timed right uppercut that finished the contest in the seventh. Heffron did what Tommy Langford and Jamie Cox couldn't by stopping Taylor, and he is undoubtably ready to compete for titles in 2018.
Joe Maposha showed great skill over his four round contest, defeating the experienced Craig Derbyshire 40-36.
Troy Williamson cruised to a 60-54 points victory over Miguel Aguilar in the second bout of the night, moving to 4-0 in the process.
Michael Watson opened the show with a punch perfect performance, stopping Hristo Yonev after only 39 seconds of round one.
After the main event of the event, Kalam Leather looked comfortable as he defeated Naheem Chaudhry 40-36.
Article by: Luke Madeira
You can follow Luke on Twitter at: @lukemadeira15
WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KO's) is preparing for the fight of his career against IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KO's) in the Ali Trophy semi-final and wants to make a statement to fight fans all over the world.
A World Boxing Super Series poll shows fans having the most trust in Usyk (74%), Gassiev (10%) and Briedis (9%) to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the cruiserweight division. That leaves seven percent for the Miami-based Cuban who views his odds quite differently.
“I have noticed the poll giving Usyk, Gassiev and Briedis a better chance than me to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy, but in my next fight I will have the last word and prove the poll wrong,” said Dorticos.
“I do not compare myself to anyone. I compete with myself. When I am training I hit the bag as if I was fighting with someone.”
“I am preparing my body and soul for the most important fight in my career. Because the only thing I'm going to accept is the victory. My family have deposited their trust and believe in me and I am going to pay back with a victory.”
Dorticos aka ‘The KO Doctor’ stunned in his quarter-final with a devastating KO victory in the third round over Russian Dmitri Kudryashov in San Antonio in September. And he predicts another jaw-dropping output against another Russian, Murat Gassiev, who blew away Polish Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in New Jersey in October with a powerful performance that also produced a third-round KO.
“The truth is I have no words to express my joy after my victory over Kudryashov,” said Dorticos.
“I have worked hard to be able to be a part of this tournament, I have worked hard to be able to prove that I am the best cruiserweight in the world. I believe I am the best in the world, and I can’t wait to fight again and show the fans all over the world once again what ‘The KO Doctor’ is about.”
"I'm ready to show Gassiev what a champion looks like and give him a challenge he's never faced before. I want to take his belt. In other words; Gassiev is my next victim.”
Fight date and venue for Gassiev vs Dorticos will be announced in the coming weeks, with tickets going on sale later this month. Fans are asked to sign-up for ticket alerts at worldboxingsuperseries.com to avoid disappointment.
Source: World Boxing Super Series [Press Release]